Child-abuse suspect dead in apparent suicide

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One of two Jefferson County suspects among the 10 men arrested as part of the “Net Nanny” anti-child-abuse sting operation was found dead in his home of an apparent suicide March 30, according to authorities.

Although 53-year-old Thomas Gale, of Port Townsend, had been slated for arraignment in Jefferson County Superior Court that same day, Jefferson County Prosecuting Attorney Michael Haas confirmed the criminal case against Gale has been dismissed because of his death.

“An autopsy will be conducted today,” Haas said April 2. “Because we send blood to the toxicology lab for analysis, the final results will not be available for a couple of months. I think the lab is running at least a 10-week backlog.”

Gale was arrested March 23 as part of a multiagency investigation into child sexual abuse, and released after he posted a $50,000 bond.

No other information has been released by the Jefferson County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office or Sheriff’s Office.

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